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Senate of Pennsylvania
Session of 2015 - 2016 Regular Session


Posted: October 19, 2015 01:38 PM
From: Senator Mario M. Scavello
To: All Senate members
Subject: Definition of Autocycle in Title 75 (Vehicles)
In the near future, I intend to introduce legislation to establish a more appropriate definition under Title 75 for a new subtype of federally-certified motorcycle currently being registered under the general definition of a motorcycle. This legislation is the result of recommendations issued by the American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA), an internationally respected group of motor vehicle administrators and law enforcement officials. This legislation will make clearer the distinction between these newly developed three wheeled vehicles with two forward wheels and the more recognizable three wheeled trike-style motorcycles which have been around for many years.

Specifically, the legislation will define these vehicles as an autocycle and register and title them by creating a special designation under the existing motorcycle definition. This effort will help to clarify crash reporting statistics, assist law enforcement with determining which laws to enforce, and ultimately, provide a safer environment on the road. Additionally, under this legislation the autocycle would be operated with a motor vehicle license instead of a motorcycle license due to the likeness in vehicle configuration and driving experience with a traditional motor vehicle. For example, these vehicles are equipped with bucket seats, seat belts, a steering wheel, and gas and brake pedals similar to a car; whereas, a three wheel motorcycle requires the operator to use a handlebar and sit astride the straddle style seat which necessitates active positioning on the vehicle to properly maneuver it. Finally, we are seeking to apply the safety belt requirement for automobiles on autocycles and keep the helmet law for motorcycles consistent with autocycles. Additionally, there would not be a requirement for windshields, wipers or an enclosed cabin as that is not required under the Federal Motor Vehicle Safety Standards applied by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA).

Currently, there are approximately 23 states with autocycle legislation passed into law and approximately 4 additional states currently seeking legislative changes to more appropriately classify these vehicles as autocycles.

Overall this effort will foster conformity with other states regionally who have already adopted an autocycle definition, and continue a trend that is developing nationally. Further it will assist the Department of Transportation and the law enforcement community to better regulate these vehicles in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

Please join me in co-sponsoring this important piece of legislation. If you have any questions regarding this legislation, please contact Christine Zubeck in my office at 717-787-6123 or czubeck@pasen.gov. Thank you for your consideration.

Introduced as SB1108